International Style:

Based on European Modernism as it developed in the 1920s and 1930s, particularly in the teaching of the Bauhaus and in the work of such pioneering architects as Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Marcel Breuer. Characterized by emphasis on functionalism in design, use of industrial materials, smooth surfaces, and light proportions, emphasis on volume rather than mass. Example: WHNC Radio building, 135 College Street.


Minimalist in approach, generally featuring simple boxlike forms with an exposed (or expressed) steel frame and infill of glass, brick, or concrete block. Elegance of proportion and finish take the place of applied ornament, and structural details may be highlighted or even exaggerated for aesthetic effect. Exemplified by the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Example: Jet Cleaners, 687 State Street.


Inspired by classical architecture without directly utilizing classical forms. Buildings are formal, symmetrical, and often feature portico-like covered exterior areas. Proportions are slender, and materials are finely finished, typically aiming for elegance. Example: East Rock Lodge IBPOE, 87 Webster Street.


In contrast to Miesian and Formalist designs, Brutalism consciously rejected any attempt at elegance of detail or finish. Buildings are characterized by planning from the inside out—that is, for function, with scant concern for overtly artistic arrangement of forms. Forms are heavy, massive, and deeply sculptural, and surfaces are deliberately rough or unfinished. Example: Yale Art and Architecture building, 180 York Street. 


Seeks by its design to express something about a building’s use or to evoke an emotional reaction. Characterized by unusual, dramatic forms, often intended to express movement or flight. Example: Ingalls Hockey Rink, 73 Sachem Street.


A reaction against Modernism, seeking to re-integrate historical and vernacular forms into architecture, but often in an ironic or mocking manner. Example: Dixwell Firehouse, 125 Goffe Street.